poem by Lillian Kwok


I wish we were still bees—
swarming together, thinking

together, dying
for each other. Eight

gasping fish, swimming naked
in the green river.

But then came our mother
with a knife. Our mother

was steel. Had to rub fresh ginger
in her eyes to cry before the guards.

So they let us board the train, but not
together. A mother’s choice.

My left behind ghosts.
There are things siblings

do not talk about. Who got
the breast, and who got the bottle.